Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Jew That Saved Christmas

Pull out your nearest map of the United States. Locate the East Coast. Now put your finger about halfway up the coast. That's where I live, in Washington DC. Now slide your finger all the way across the Ohio River Valley, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the radical socialist compounds of Northern Idaho all the way up to the upper left of the United States. That's where most of my family lives.

Pretty far, eh? But in this age of air travel it isn't like I have to spend a week in a steam engine or a couple of months on a wagon train to visit Ma and Pa. Nope. Nowadays it only takes about $400 and six hours to go 3000 miles.

Unless, of course, you factor in all of the non-air travel to get where I'm going:
  • Traffic to the airport and parking (add 2 hours)
  • Security (add 1 hour)
  • Layover (add 1 hour, if you're lucky)
  • Waiting for baggage (add 1 hour)
  • Drive to The Parents home situated distantly (albeit scenically) on an island in the Puget Sound (add 2 hours)
Now we're talking about a solid 12 hours of travel ... all at the busiest, grumpiest time of the travel year. So this year I told my family that they better take a good look at me during Thanksgiving because I wasn't coming home for Christmas.

Given that everyone I know was going to be gone for Christmas I was mildly concerned about getting bummed out here all by myself. So not one to mope around I made a list of things that I could do.
  • Put together a Christmas Card
  • Repack my Grandmother's China (which has been spread all around my bedroom for about 10 months. Maybe longer. I've lost track.)
  • Refold all of my sweaters and stack them by color
  • Clean my house
  • Get some last minute Christmas presents
  • Do some mending ... Holey Socks Be GONE!
  • Take that stack of unwanted clothes to the donation bin
  • Go the the National Cathedral
  • Go see the Temple Lights
Good list, right? Pretty productive. You'll be interested to hear that I have completed approximately none of these things.

Instead this is what I have been doing with my time.
  • Reading (surprise, surprise.)
  • Went to see Atonement (way better than the book, mainly due to James McAvoy's unbridled hotness) and National Treasure (Nick Cage's smokers voice didn't ruin this movie. I was glad.)
  • Went to the Gym (!) TWICE(!!!)
  • Investigating new music and looking up top 10 music lists
  • Eating chocolate chocolate-chip cookies
  • Sleeping. A lot.
  • Making DELICIOUS Christmas Chipotle-Shrimp Enchiladas. BEHOLD the Deliciousness of my traditional Christmas Dinner:
  • Watching the last 10 minutes of a series of Lifetime Christmas movies, making me cry.
  • Watching the Will & Grace Christmas episode, making me laugh.

Good times, eh? But all solo activities. After 4 days of Me Time I was starting to worry that I was turning into a bit of a hermit. I had to get out of the house. And I had to talk to someone. I was in danger of being monumentally bored. Not to mention being a total Christmas loser.

So I called my favorite Jewish friend up and said, "Hey, I've spent all morning celebrating Christmas the Christian way by putting on all of my new clothes at once and riding my new bicycle around the neighborhood. But do you want to celebrate Christmas the Jewish way with me this evening?" Of course, he said "Heck, yes!"

So we met later to go to the movies and then joined the rest of the Jewish population of Silver Spring at the Asian Bistro for Chinese food. I explained to him the meaning of Christmas, and how it's the season of love and giving and please don't love us or give us anything if it isn't Christmastime. He explained that to Asians all white people look the same, which was why our server kept forgetting about us and we had to keep asking for things. I told him about how Christmas came to be celebrated in December instead of in the Spring. And he told me about how the Jews gave Christians Christmas because Jesus was a Jew and all. Then we argued about which came first Chanukah or Christmas. I diverted the argument by saying, "Maccabees-schmackabees. Does it really matter? What matters is that you're the Jew that saved Christmas." And he said, "Yeah. Good point. We're a very helpful people."

It was an evening of great cultural and religious understanding. As well as an evening full of friendship and MSG. Just as Christmas should be.

I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas too!


Leslie said...

i really do love your blog. :) happy new year!

nckuhn said...

G I also love the blog, but I need to know when the book is coming? And will it include a funny jokes/moments/stories section or will that be another book all together?